OWN IT 2016 | SUPER AWESOME FUN STUFF
by Darin White
(Left to Right) Russell Jennison, Duncan Finnigan, Lyndon Horsfall, Tessa Jennison
"It's very difficult to crack the tech sector with the creative sector. Thinking about the legitimacy of what they do and what we do and how the both can marry each other," says filmmaker Duncan Finnigan of a long-form project initially brainstormed in the Communitech Hub with co-conspirator Lyndon Horsfall.
The duo, who started working together under the name 12 Angry Filmmakers, wanted to do something bigger. Enter Kitchener Sync: an ambitious 10-episode TV show that centers on game software development invented and is set, shot and shown solely in Kitchener.
Even without a background in tech, the series hones in on the culture, products and challenges of the industry - but not without research.
"I know a lot of people in tech, so whenever something like that comes up in the script, I'll call someone and ask 'hey, does this make sense?'" Lyndon says, noting the need to strike a balance as narrative fiction. "A lot of the people watching [the film] aren't in tech so you don't want to do it too 'inside' where they're not going to understand it."
They started to find their characters and the partners in the community - a mid-interview run-in with Russell and Tessa Jennison who act in and provide the score for the series, highlights the hyper-local nature of the project.
Explaining their process, Duncan and Lyndon begin to muse about their character development method.
"Who would we have? Well, maybe that old man over there," says Lyndon. "He was always sitting in the corner. So he's a millionaire. He's doing this and that. He could be a character. Why is he here?"
Star-studded with your neighbor, your barista, your best friend's younger brother, the series is only available on the Apollo Cinema screen. According to Lyndon, theatre-only viewing dates drive episode delivery - and hopefully the audience - "come hell or high water."
Wrapping up 2015 with three episodes under their belt, Lyndon describes what keeps the project going: "When you decide you're going to do something, you've just got to do it... to prove yourself. Once you make the decision, you don't stop."
And with such an admirable fusion of art and technology in mind, hopefully they don't stop. An on-screen intersection of these communities might just act as a catalyst in their synchronization.